Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Vote for a Local Hero

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Vote for a Local Hero

Article excerpt

When Arnold Schwarzenegger uttered the immortal words "I'll be back", few could have imagined he would make his re-appearance on the political, and not the silver screen stage.

Celebrities crossing over to the world of politics is not a new phenomenon in America - Arnold follows in the footsteps of many well known US political figures who began their careers in the entertainment business.

Ronald Regan was a movie star before becoming Governor of California in 1967 and then the 40th President of the United States from 1981-89, and Sonny Bono, of 1960s Sonny and Cher fame, was elected mayor of Palm Springs and then to Congress in 1994.

Dirty Harry star Clint Eastwood, who served as mayor of Carmel for two years before returning to the movie business. Child star Shirley Temple served Presidents Nixon, Gerald Ford and George W Bush in roles as an ambassador to Ghana.

Britain's stars - with the exception of actress Glenda Jackson and comedy jumper advocate, Gyles Brandreth - have been slow to see the path to political glory but The Journal got to thinking about possible celebrity candidates and their mini-manifestos should a North-East Regional Assembly come to pass.

First up on the list were primetime television's hottest property, Ant and Dec.

Next was North-East acting couple Tim Healy and Denise Welch.

They could cite a lifetime of charity work and work experience in the fields of brick-laying pint-pulling and a detailed knowledge of sofas in their campaign literature.

After the recent birth of her daughter, Freya, television presenter and actress, Donna Air looks to be perfectly placed to champion the rights of new parents and speak out on the issues of childcare.

Fellow glamourpuss, presenter Jayne Middlemiss, who could target the younger generation of voters with her up-to-the-minute musical knowledge picked up in her role as Top of the Pops presenter.

Footballing hero Sir Bobby Robson can't be ignored. …

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